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Rainy
Recently I am concerned that my mother is emotionally abusing my ailing father. He is 82 and she is 72. My father has a multitude of health issues, incontinence and is deteriorating mentally with memory loss and such. My mother has some minor health issues but her biggest problem is her size and having a bad leg, which makes it hard for her to walk/stand and take care of my father.

What breaks my heart is how my mother treats my father, yelling at him when he drops something or forgets something and especially when he messes in his pants. She screams and cry's, "why are you doing this to me". Imagine that! Imagine how HE feels. I mean, I see all these books on "Taking care of yourself while taking care of your elderly loved one", and such, Most of the emphasis seems to be on the poor caregiver and how much they have to deal with. Good grief, is that not what we are here for? What happened to compassion and LOVE?

I know I cannot speak from experience, I have never cared full time for an elderly loved one. I'm not saying that the caregiver doesn't deserve our respect and support but my motherís behavior sickens me. She acts like my father is doing this on purpose, that her yelling at him and threatening to put him in a "home" is going to "Snap" him out of it! I try to tell her to be nice, that he's not doing it on purpose and that it's not going to get better.

Worst of all, she was a nurse and she has gone thru very similar things with my grandfather, her father, my great-grandmother, who lived with us until the age of 90, and her mother in law. She acts like his behavior is shocking. I do not understand this.

My question is, how much should I intervene? I am an only child and don't live in the same state as they do. Both of them continually fall down and can't get up. Luckily my son lives just a few blocks away but he isn't always home.
Glen
Hi Rainy! This is so sad. My nephew's parents are going through exactly the same thing, only the husband is the trained nurse caregiver of his wife, who is suffering from late stage Parkinson's disease. The saddest part of their story is, they can afford the best round-the-clock care available, but he's so stuck to his money he doesn't realize that's what money is for. He does the same thing...cussing her out and complaining that she's being uncooperative when she can't swallow or breathe. When you hear him talk, it's like he's the only one suffering. Their son has tried to reason with him about getting more help but it's like talking to a blank wall.
If your mother will listen to reason, a "home" is the best place for her husband...and her. Then, she can live with him in the same room, but when he needs help, the staff are the ones doing the dirty work and the things too difficult for her. All she has to do is supervise and care for him as a wife...not a nurse. Assisted living facilities aren't the dungeons they were when their parents were old. The newer ones are quite nice, with the safety and quality of a good hotel, and round-the-clock social activities. Some of the newer and larger ones even have 24-hour restaurants where you can order from a menu.
Unfortunately, if your mother won't listen to reason and power of attorney hasn't been appointed to anyone, she is the one who will make the decisions unless someone can prove in court that neither your father nor your mother are able to do so. Like my nephew, you may be left with praying and waiting for the phone to ring. I'll be praying, too.
Rainy
Thank you Glen! It is a sad situation. I had never thought of both of them entering a assisted living home, that would actually be a good idea. They are both constantly falling down, and have had to call 911 just to get them up.

I will suggest that to my mother when I see her in a few weeks. They too have enough money for the care, but don't want to admit they need it.

Thanks again for your thoughts and mostly for your prayers!

Rainy
Glen
We'll keep praying. Keep us posted on what's happening.
goodidea412ty
your mom and dad are really old; you can't do much to help them. if you'll talk to them they take it wrongly. you need to do things that make them remember of their good days; when they were young and madly in love with each other.
sangamkr
You did mention that your mother was a nurse herself and was a part of similar situations many times. Do not you think that she is frustrated. I am sure during her life span till date she had very few peaceful moments. I think you must be most compassionate to your mother and support her before expecting a change in her. She might be feeling that she is more alone and your father is an additional burden to her.

In my opinion you must not interfere with their problems, instead show more love and affection to your mother till she gains confidence in you. Then see the miracle
Elizaelizapot12
Even though this is a desperate situation, we can't completely blame your mom. This happens to everyone, she may be frustrated in her life by doing works and taking care of your father all the time. I'm not justifying her, but I'm pointing a possibility of having some difficulties for her. What if she is not able to care your father all the time? Being a nurse is not sufficient reason to put all the responsibilities on her head. Your mom is definitely loving your father, but the thing is she is not able to handle his health condition. So you should search alternative solutions for this problem. Why don't you seek the help of any caregiver for your father? A professional caregiver will give proper care and help for her patient. Since I'm a working woman, I'm not able to take care of my mom and had sought the help of a senior care center in Oregon (Prestige care). She is happy there and has no complaints about their services. I often visit her with my children to make her happier. You can also search for such care centers for help. It will help to avoid more problems.
kaufenpreis
I know I cannot speak from experience, I have never cared full time for an elderly loved one. I'm not saying that the caregiver doesn't deserve our respect and support but my motherís behavior sickens me. She acts like my father is doing this on purpose, that her yelling at him and threatening to put him in a "home" is going to "Snap" him out of it! I try to tell her to be nice, that he's not doing it on purpose and that it's not going to get better.
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